“O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie. Above thy deep and dream-less sleep the silent stars go by. Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light, the hopes and fears of all the world are met in thee tonight.”
We sing Silent Night, and for most of the world, it was silent. In Bethlehem most slept deep and dreamlessly unaware that time was being divided. The town’s streets were dark, lit only by the silent stars. No one knew that the Light of the world had come to banish darkness.
Bethlehem means “House of Bread” and here the Bread of Life was born. No room was available so the Son of God was born in a smelly stable. There were no clean sheets, so Mary lay on a bed of hay. There was no cradle for a baby so the Maker of all things slept in a feed trough .
Sitting on top of a mountain Bethlehem was about six miles from Jerusalem. Nearby a heartbroken Jacob had buried Rachel, the love of his life. Here was where Ruth the Moabitess, fell in love with Boaz, The Lord of the Harvest. In this little village, the prophet Samuel anointed the shepherd boy David as king. And hundreds of years before the coming of Christ, Micah prophesied that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messiah.
Modern day Bethlehem is in the Palestinian controlled West Bank portion of Israel. In those days, just as today, Bethlehem was home to people who were prone to armed revolt and violence. And yet, God chose Bethlehem to be the birthplace of the Prince of Peace.
Maybe your life is a mess and full of turmoil. Let your heart become a new Bethlehem. Make room for Jesus to come into your heart and you will find that all your hopes and fears will be met in Him today.
Douglas Huff and Deborah Huff
From Down Where The Pavement Ends